Before I moved to Toronto, I had always imagined what ‘success’ meant to me.
It was an image of myself, walking across a scramble crossing, holding a coffee.
Four years later, I ended up being in the middle of an intersection, but in a totally different way.
Yonge and Bloor was the epicenter of Open Streets TO, a program that I helped start. The program opens streets to people by closing them to cars.
It’s a really magical thing that happened in our city.
Open Streets programs encourage people to get active without thinking about it, because they can explore their city in a new way.
It also might encourage behaviour on other days, outside of Open Streets. It’s a really transformational thing for the city.
On August 31st, at 11:30am, on the south-east corner I actually had a moment to close my eyes, take it all in, and see what was happening.
There was an African drumming band with a huge crowd drumming around them. There was a woman learning how to long-board. She was around 50 or 60 years old. There were kids running around doing chalk art in the intersection.
I actually witnessed that we had turned the intersection of Yonge and Bloor into a place for people to stop, chat, bike through, or skate through, or perform music in.